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Vodafone tests 5G with smartphone-sized device


Vodafone UK, Qualcomm and Ericsson are conducting ‘over the air’ tests with 5G technology and a smartphone-sized device.

The test device uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and Ericsson radio equipment. Vodafone says the device is similar in size to the 5G mobile phones that are being developed.

Vodafone engineers in Salford, Greater Manchester, downloaded a 105-minute-long film over 5G in just 24 seconds. The same film took 95 seconds to download over fast 4G, using carrier aggregation.

The latest test forms part of Vodafone’s UK-wide trial of 5G in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

Vodafone says these tests are a major step forward in ensuring customers get the best 5G experience possible from their phone and the Vodafone network.

The three companies say their collaborative work on this project will also help to power 4k video and 3D holographic calling on the move.

A UK first

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery, said, “We made the UK’s first live 5G 3D holographic call between Manchester and Newbury five months ago. Soon after, we carried the UK’s first 5G call over a live mobile network. Today, we are testing technology that will power 5G smartphones. Another first in the UK.”

Thomas Noren, Head of 5G Commercialization, Ericsson said: “We’re making headway on mobile devices as an integral part of the 5G ecosystem. Ericsson continues to drive the commercial readiness of 5G by future-proofing this ecosystem. Together with Qualcomm, we continue to advance the testing of 5G NR networks with mobile devices and support Vodafone in deploying 5G across the UK.”